Crews Post Extremely Successful Weekend At Frostbite Regatta And Bill Braxton Regatta

Nov. 11, 2003

BALTIMORE - Loyola's men's and women's rowing teams participated at both the Frostbite Regatta and the Bill Braxton Regatta on Saturday and Sunday as both races were held on the Schuylkill River. Just about every Greyhound boat registered a solid finish, much to the delight of Head Coach Al Ramirez, whose summary on the weekend's events follows:

Frostbite Regatta Notes:

Frostbite is right. All day long temperatures hovered in the mid to high 30's with a brisk wind giving the starting line fits. The Frostbite regatta is a 2000 meter sprint race, similar to the spring, but it starts from a somewhat chaotic, floating start, with no buoys or boats to anchor the boats to. The officials simply let the boats drift downstream together, calling a start when the 6 boats in each flight come into a rough alignment.

Loyola turned in some great results throughout the day, highlighted with a 1st-place in the women's novice-8 race, strong second place finishes in both the men's novice-8 and the women's varsity-8, and a photo finish for second in the men's varsity-8 race -- a race that the boat lost to rival American University by a mere .002 seconds.

Once again, we successfully doubled up rowers in some of the fours races, securing a 2nd-place finish in the women's novice-4, a fourth-place in the women's varsity-4, led by a Philly local, sophomore Liz McDowell, and a 5th in the men's novice-4. A time conflict in that two of the races were too close together prevented us from racing our top varsity athletes in the men's varsity-4, but we filled the slots with brave and willing freshmen in an effort to gain racing experience. This boat of newcomers was led by experienced frosh Kevin Dwyer.

Both varsity-8's, which were stroked by senior Kath Galway and Junior Will Farrell, had strong races and finishes. The women were led by a new coxswain, Kristin Gorman, finished well ahead of Lafayette, the University of Maryland, Binghamton, and SUNY-Oswego, but lost to a deep, tough Lehigh squad (they had three 8's entered). From the results, it looks like we will have quite a bit of competition in the spring.

Bill Braxton Notes:

The less chilly follow-up to the Frostbite regatta, the Bill Braxton, was also a chance for Loyola to flash very solid results. Because of the high interest in the event, Loyola's men's novice-8 could not race among the 24 other entries, but the freshmen split up and rose to the occasion by winning the intermediate-4 and placing 5th in a second intermediate-4 entry.

Both the women's novice-8 and the varsity-8 earned second place finishes. The novices fell to Stony Brook, but took out St Mary's and Penn State, while the varsity-8 cruised to a second-place finish.

Not to be outdone, the women's varsity-4 earned a strong second-place finish after revising the line-up. The boat was stroked by Freshman Katie Sheridan and included freshman Amanda Wood, and sophomores Liz McDowell and Courtney Toms.

The varsity men were motivated to improve on their photo finish loss the day before. They had early troubles with the floating start, missing the starter's command to "go", while pulling up to the line. Despite leaving the line dead last, they clawed their way back to the pack to record a solid 3rd-place finish.

Overall, I was pleased with our performances, during the weekend, and over the entire fall. Our team continues to have a very young feeling to it due to the lack of a junior class with the women and a senior class with the men, but I have definitely noticed a high level of confidence among the athletes, and that will definitely help us in the spring. It is a bit early to make predictions about the spring results, but if I had to, I would predict a strong varsity fours, including a women's light 4, as well as very competitive novice 8's. Our senior women should be able to lend a competitive maturity to our varisty women's boats that we not enjoyed in the past 2 years, and the Frosh teams are definitely carrying more depth of athletic talent than they have in my past 2 seasons here. Things look positive at this point. We will be cutting back our water time and spending more time in the weight room through the rest of the Fall semester.